Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WELCOME, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE WELCOME, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: He'd scarcely come from leave and london
Last Line: While any of those who were there have tongues.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): World War I; First World War

HE'D scarcely come from leave and London,
Still was carrying a leather case,
When he surprised Headquarters pillbox
And sat down sweating in the filthy place.

He was a tall, lean, pale-looked creature,
With nerves that seldom ceased to wince,
Past war had long preyed on his nature,
And war had doubled in horror since.

There was a lull, the adjutant even
Came to my hole: You cheerful sinner,
If nothing happens till half-past seven,
Come over then, we're going to have dinner.

Back he went with his fierce red head;
We were sourly canvassing his jauntiness, when
Something happened at headquarters pillbox.
"Don't go there," cried one of my men.

The shell had struck right into the doorway,
The smoke lazily floated away;
There were six men in that concrete doorway,
Now a black muckheap blocked the way.

Inside, one who had scarcely shaken
The air of England out of his lungs
Was alive, and sane; it shall be spoken
While any of those who were there have tongues.

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